Category Archives: Local News

Testing Set for China Lake

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake conducting test this week

March 30, 2016

Testing Today (Wednesday, March 30th) and Thursday  (March 31st) may create loud explosions and fire.   Officials indicate that noise is expected from routine base testing.

NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION CHINA LAKE, California – Between 9 and 11 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night (Wednesday and Thursday) there will be testing conducted on the east side of the base, which may create loud explosions and visible fire.  This is only a routine test.

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Bishop Tribe hosting Education Summit

Bishop Paiute Tribe hosting Education Summit

submitted by the Bishop Paiute Tribe
March 29, 2016
The Bishop Paiute Tribe, Owens Valley Career Development Center, and Cerro Coso Community College are hosting the First Annual Education Summit; a twoday event taking place on April 1st and April 2nd, at Cerro Coso Community College located at 4090 W. Line St in Bishop.
April 1st from 8:00am to 1:00pm is for Staff Development for individuals working for Native American Communities, to support employees in their daily tasks and share knowledge of best practices to build a stronger community. A continental breakfast will be provided.
April 2nd from 9:30am to 4:00pm is for families and community members, to collaborate and work together to help students, children, and families be more successful, starting at 9:30am, ending at 4:00pm. A continental breakfastand lunch will be provided.
This event is free to attend, and individuals are encouraged to preregister. For more information and to register,please contact the Bishop Tribal Office at 50 Tu Su Ln., or call (760) 8733584. Online registration is also available at
The Bishop Paiute Tribe is a federally recognized Indian tribe located on its 879 acre Bishop Paiute Reservation in Inyo County, California. The Reservation was formed under Congressional Act 5299, P.L. No. 43 of April 20, 1937. The Tribe is committed to the well being of its people. For more information please contact the Bishop Paiute Tribe at (760) 8733584.
Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bishop Paiute Reservation, Bishop Tribe Education Summit

Keeping the Eastern Sierra Abloom

Eastern Sierra Land Trust to host free Pollinator Garden Workshop on April 16

submitted by the Eastern Sierra Land Trust
March 29, 2016

What’s for dinner? Without pollinators, the options might be few. With one third of the food supply and at least 80% of the world’s flowering plants depending on pollinators, their impact can be felt everywhere—from backyards to dinner plates. Much of the Eastern Sierra’s natural treasures rely on bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in order to live and thrive. But their numbers are in decline: impacted by pathogens, parasites, pesticides, and habitat loss, pollinators are disappearing from the landscape.

Local non-profit Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT) is committed to permanently safeguarding the Eastern Sierra’s wild and working lands, and since launching their Eastside Pollinator Garden Project in 2014, a major focus of ESLT’s work has been helping native pollinators thrive. With the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, ESLT is building safe havens for pollinators and educating the community about the important role they play. Since the project began, ESLT has helped certify 54 gardens and community spaces in Inyo and Mono Counties as pollinator-friendly habitat.

For all those interested in creating their own pollinator garden blooming with beautiful native plants, Eastern Sierra Land Trust will be hosting a free Pollinator Garden Workshop on Saturday, April 16th from 10am to 12pm at Inyo Council for the Arts (137 S. Main St. in Bishop).

With support from US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Native Plant Society (CNPS), the Pollinator Garden Workshop will provide guidance, information, and resources to anyone ready to create their own Eastern Sierra pollinator haven. Local experts – including Katie Quinlan of CNPS, Michelle Hunt of USFWS, Julie Fontaine of Trestles Environmental Corporation, and Steve Blair of Chalfant Big Trees Farm & Feed – will share helpful information about native plants, plant nutrition, irrigation techniques, and everything else needed to get a pollinator garden growing this spring.

Once a garden is ready to be planted, committed Eastside Pollinator Garden Project participants will be awarded a $125 voucher for native plant purchases. Participants will also receive a Certified Pollinator Garden plaque to post near their new pollinator habitat when the certification process is complete.

This year ESLT aims to certify 20-25 additional gardens as pollinator havens; anyone interested in bringing bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators to their yard is encouraged to attend the workshop to learn more about what they can do to help pollinators thrive. Those unable to attend the workshop are encouraged to stop by ESLT’s annual GardenFest, to be held at the ESLT office (250 N. Fowler St. in Bishop) on April 31st for more information.

By working with members of the Eastern Sierra community to create pollinator habitat and encourage land stewardship, ESLT hopes to keep the Eastside blooming, year after year. For more information about the Eastside Pollinator Garden Project and the upcoming workshop, please contact ESLT Education Coordinator/AmeriCorps Member, Catherine Tao, at or (760) 873-4554.

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ESLT’s Eastside Pollinator Garden Project has helped Eastern Sierra residents like Margy Marshall create and certify pollinator-friendly habitats. Get started on your own pollinator garden this spring by attending ESLT’s Pollinator Garden Workshop on April 16th.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to protect vital lands in the Eastern Sierra region for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values. To learn more about ESLT’s work and how to get involved, visit

Eastern Sierra Land Trust, bishop agriculture, eastern sierra agriculture

Get Your Chainsaw Ready

Permits for Personal Fuelwood Issued Early

submitted by the Inyo National Forest
March 29, 2016

The Inyo National Forest is offering early sale of personal use fuelwood permits for the 2016 season. Because of staffing shortages, permit sales will begin earlier than normal to help alleviate lines at the visitor centers. Locals are encouraged to purchase early to avoid crowds in the visitor centers as spring visitation season begins.

Fuelwood collection season is scheduled to open May 1, 2016, as in years past. Maps showing areas open to cutting are available with a purchased fuelwood permit. Fuelwood permits are $15.00 per cord with a two cord minimum purchase.

The forest requests that fuelwood permits are purchased between the hours of 9:00 a.m-12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., April 11 through April 30, 2016, unless otherwise specified. Fuelwood permits may be obtained at the following locations:

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining; (760) 647-3044, Permits on sale, Thursday – Monday only.

Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes; (760) 924-5500,  Permits on sale, Friday – Tuesday only.

White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop; (760) 873-2500
Permits on sale, Monday – Friday only

Interagency Visitor Center in Lone Pine; (760) 876-6222
Permits on sale Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10 only.

Please call ahead to your local visitor center to confirm hours of operations.

The Fuelwood Strategy, developed with public participation in 1998, remains valid and will be implemented this year.  Large ends of all downed logs (those portions greater than 30 inches in diameter) are required to remain on the forest floor for wildlife habitat and recycling of soil nutrients.  The majority of funds collected from permit sales are directly returned to the forest for continued implementation of this program.  Comments on this strategy and fuelwood program are always welcome. For further information on the fuelwood program, contact your local ranger Station or visitor center.

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BBQ and Local Bands

Eastern Sierra Music Festival Barbecue
and Artist Exhibition showcases local musical talents

submitted by ESMF
March 28, 2016

Join the Eastern Sierra Music Festival for its Spring Barbecue and Artist Exhibition, Saturday, April 16, 2 p.m. at Yribarren Ranch, seven miles south of Bishop on U.S. 395.

The event showcases live music from local talent set to appear at this summer’s Eastern Sierra Music Festival. Those performing at the barbecue include Halfway to Benton, What If, The Harry Andreas Band, 2nd Hand Smoke, and Steven Christie & The Pitchforks.

The barbecue’s menu includes a choice of tri-tip or barbecued turkey with all the fixings. Ranch bean master Duane Rossi will contribute his specialty, and a variety of salads plus homemade cobbler rounds out the meal.

In addition to the music, hay rides will be available, courtesy Lee and Jennifer Roeser.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for kids under 12, and are available at Cobwebs, Diane Corsaro Insurance or VFW Post 8988. The festival’s website at also offers barbecue tickets.

This summer’s Eastern Sierra Music Festival features country legends Dwight Yoakam and Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, plus rising stars Brooke Eden and Old Southern Moonshine Revival. Tickets for the festival are on sale now and available at the festival’s website,

Eastern Sierra Music Festival benefits The National Wounded Warrior Center set to be built in Mammoth Lakes by Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra.

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Sewage hits Bishop Creek

Sewage flows into Bishop Creek

March 28, 2016
by Arnie Palu

Late Friday Afternoon the Bishop Paiute Tribe and Inyo County Environmental Health Department issued a joint statement detailing a spill of sewage into Bishop Creek.  A clog in the Bishop Paiute Reservation sewer system is being blamed.

Statement from the Bishop Paiute Tribe and Inyo County Environmental Heath:

The Bishop Paiute Tribe, the Inyo County Environmental Health Department and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are working in a collaborative effort, in conjunction with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, in investigating the report of an inflow of sewage into the South Fork of Bishop Creek. The spill was caused by an overflowing sewer manhole due to a clog in the Bishop Paiute Reservation sewer system and was reported by the Bishop Paiute Tribe Environmental Office the evening of March 24, 2016. The release traveled approximately 1500 feet across tribal land before entering the South Fork of Bishop Creek, at a point near the northeastern exterior boundary of the Reservation. The Tribe and local agencies are working together to obtain more information regarding the duration and magnitude of the release and to conduct any follow up stream monitoring and any remediation deemed necessary.

Preliminary information received suggests that bacterial levels in the creek are, at this time, not higher than levels typically found in Bishop Creek during the summers, however, people, and their pets, are advised to refrain from any body contact activities in Bishop Creek at this time until more information is obtained. This advisory applies to the South Fork of Bishop Creek from the See Vee Lane area and downstream, to the east. Areas of Bishop Creek upstream of this area should not be impacted.

Bishop creek sewage, Bishop Paiute Tribe, Inyo County Environmental heath

Inyo County Speech Winners

Inyo County Speech Contest Winners

submitted by Dr. Terry McAteer
March 25, 2016

Inyo County Superintendent of Schools is pleased to announce that Haley Yarborough of Round Valley School won first place at the 64th Annual Inyo County Speech Contest sponsored by Coldwell Banker and held on March 10th at Jill Kinmont Boothe School. The second place winner was Kylee Jorgensen also of Round Valley. Third place went to Bodie Steinwand from Big Pine School.

Each participating school held their own speech contest where one or two winning students in grades 6-8 were selected to compete at the county level. In addition to Steinwand, Joey Huston also represented Big Pine School. Clarissa Castro and Erik Martinez represented Owens Valley School and Mahdi Ayman represented Home Street Middle School. These seven students representing three schools in Inyo County were asked to address the question: “In your opinion, what questions should our presidential candidates address?” Students presented well-reasoned arguments addressing a variety of important issues facing our country today–the two mentioned most being climate control and the cost of higher education. An undercurrent in many of the speeches was a concern over the lack of leadership, action, and problem-solving among many of our nation’s politicians today.

“We should commend these students for their efforts,” said Superintendent Terry McAteer. “Public speaking is among the top fears among Americans, yet it is an important skill. I’m proud to see our students hone their skills and speak out.”

All speeches were evaluated on content and delivery by a panel of three, community judges: retired teacher Sandy Burns; Program Coordinator at Toiyabe Serena Johnson; and retired teacher and ICSOS board member Mary Kemp. Inyo County Superintendent of Schools heartily thanks these judges for their time and expertise.
ICSOS would also like to express gratitude to the school coaches for their time, effort and support for our students. The coaches were Melinda Darndenne-Ankringa of Big Pine School; Vivian Hanson of Owens Valley School; Joslyn Hernandez of Home Street Middle School; and Jennifer Morales from Round Valley School.

Speech contest participants: Mahdi Ayman (HSMS), Joey Huston (Big Pine), Erik Martinez (OV) and Clarissa Castro (OV)
Left to right Supt. McAteer, Haley Yarborough (RV – 1st place), Kylee Jorgensen (RV – 2nd place), Bodie Steinwand (Bog Pine – 3rd place) and sponsor Jake Rasmuson of Coldwell Banker
Haley Yarborough of Round Valley, 1st place
Inyo County Speech Contest, Inyo County Superintendent of School Terry McAteer, inyo county news, inyo county education

Mono County receives a Major Award

Mono County Receives National Award

submitted by Mono County
March 24, 2016

Mono County Receives National Conservation Leadership Award
County’s Teamwork Recognized by Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service

Bridgeport, CA – On March 16, 2016, Mono County’s role in the collaborative effort to conserve the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (Bi-State DPS) of Greater Sage-grouse was recognized during the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service (USFS) Joint Awards Reception held at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Mono County was honored with the Conservation Leadership Partner of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding conservation accomplishments for fish, wildlife, and/or native plants and their habitat on public lands.

“Mono County has been an exemplary partner for the BLM and the Forest Service in support of Bi-state sage-grouse conservation, taking an innovative approach to dealing with a potential Endangered Species Act listing. The County was proactive and dove into helping with or leading projects to conserve the Bi-State sage-grouse and its habitat across jurisdictional boundaries, and assisted with activities that would benefit the bird across its entire range, not just within the county. The County’s part in summarizing past conservation activities completed by the Local Area Working Group (LAWG) and the future commitments of the LAWG to fund high priority sage-grouse projects was imperative in informing the decision not to list the DPS as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in April of 2015,” noted Steve Small, BLM, Chief, Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, during the presentation.

“The BLM has been a fantastic partner and we have a great story to tell about Bi-State sage-grouse conservation. We are but one part of the effort which, besides the BLM, also includes the US Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey (USGS), Nevada Department of Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and private ranchers and landowners. We are honored to accept this award in recognition of the good work being done by all our partners,” stated Wendy Sugimura, Mono County, at the award reception.

“This is a big deal – only one award is given a year, and typically it’s given to large, well-funded organizations whose sole mission is conservation. For a county to receive it is unusual, and Mono County should be very proud to have received this distinguished award,” explained Steve Nelson, Field Manager for the Bishop BLM Office, which nominated Mono County for the award. “There’s no other county anywhere in the nation, that I’m aware of, that provides the kind of support and commitment for sage-grouse conservation that we experience here in our partnership with Mono County.”

Mono County is a part of the Local Area Working Group (LAWG) for the Bi-State sage-grouse and has participated at varying levels since 2002. In 2012, the County increased its involvement and became a leading partner in the work to support and implement conservation actions for the Bi-State DPS and its habitat. Tim Fesko, Mono County Board of Supervisors, stated in April 2015, “Mono County had a choice when the proposed listing [of the Bi-State sage-grouse] was issued: Commit to the conservation effort based on the understanding that the sage-grouse should not be listed for scientifically verifiable reasons, or fight the listing. Mono County chose conservation and the power of partnerships and collaboration over political grandstanding.”

Mono Award Pic
(left to right): Wendy Sugimura accepting the Conservation Leadership Partner of the Year award for Mono County. From left to right: Robert Harper, USFS, Director, Water, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants; Tom Tidwell, USFS, Chief; Wendy Sugimura, Mono County; Steve Small, BLM, Chief, Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation; Brian Ferebee, USDA National Forest System, Associate Deputy Chief. Photo provided by Mono County
Mono County, Sage Grouse recovery, BLM Division of fish and wildlife

Mule Days Food Drive

Mule Days and Salvation Army teaming up to help those in need

March 22, 2016

The Bishop Mule Days Celebration is again teaming up with the Salvation Army in a food drive for local families in need.

The food drive will take place on Saturday, April 2, from 9am to 4pm in front of the Vons Super Market in Bishop. Look for the white Maverick horse trailer. Our goal this year is to fill the trailer with donated canned and dry foods!

For every $50 dollar donation, Mule Days will give a free Raffle Ticket to win the $6,500 two horse trailer and a general admission ticket to the Sunday, May 29th evening show when the winning ticket is draw.

Please come by and visit with the Mule Days crew and help the Salvation Army provide local needy families with meals.

cover photo by Gary Young

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NIH Healthy Lifestyle Talk

NIH Healthy Lifestyle Talk focuses on
lowering the risk for colorectal cancer

March 22, 2016
submitted by Northern Inyo Hospital

As part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Allison Robinson will give a free educational talk on “Lowering Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer,” Thursday, March 24, 6:30 p.m. at the Northern Inyo Hospital Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop.
More than 140,000 men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. Yet with early detection, this disease remains one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Dr. Robinson will talk about risk factors for developing colorectal cancer and the tests available for preventing and detecting it.

Dr. Robinson, a retired U.S. Navy Captain, is double Board certified in General Surgery with specialization in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Previously, she served as a Staff Surgeon for the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics and neurology, pediatrics and allergies and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.

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